Roger Southam has sold his company Chainbow, which has a net worth of £551,000, to property giant Savills. The sale price is likely to have been a bit higher.
LKP has asked both Mr Southam, who is also chairman of the Leasehold Advisory Service, and Taylor Wimpey to clarify the position of the residents’ management companies at nine Taylor Wimpey sites in London.
These companies are owned by Chainbow, with Mr Southam either the sole director or joint director with another Chainbow employee.
LKP sort clarification whether Mr Southam remains a director of these companies and, if so, how long he envisaged remaining in his post.
LKP also asked whether Savills is aware that these companies, although owned by Chainbow, are now deemed to be residents’ management companies that will be transferred to the control of leaseholders.
This undertaking has been made by both Taylor Wimpey and Chainbow since LKP’s began asking questions in April. Last year, leaseholders were informed in writing three times that they had no involvement at all in the embedded management companies.
To own an embedded management company in a tripartite lease means that the property management company is virtually unsackable. It is regarded as among the worst practices in leasehold.
It would appear that these embedded management companies are now owned by Savills.
Chainbow was established in 1989 and employs 28 staff, all of whom will join Savills with immediate effect.
The property information service Costar says: “Chainbow specialises in the residential block management, private rented and build to rent sectors providing property management and consultancy services to a range of clients including Taylor Wimpey, Englander Group and Westrock.”
Prior to the decision to sell Chainbow, Mr Southam and executives of Taylor Wimpey met MPs Sir Peter Bottomley and Jim Fitzpatrick, and LKP, to discuss how control of the embedded management company at Mulberry Mews, Highbury, in north London, can be handed over to the leaseholders.
This process is proceeding at Mulberry Mews, but the status of the other embedded management companies is unclear.
Mr Southam was invited to comment before publication.